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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Jimmy Eat World
Futures
Interscope Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004

There's a running theme on Jimmy Eat World's 1999 album, Clarity. Songs like "Your New Aesthetic" and "Believe in What You Want" show disgust and disregard for modern music, the myth of easy fame and conformity, while celebrating the joy of being yourself, being misunderstood and being an individual.

Now though, things are different. The group's last album, Bleed American, went platinum. Jimmy Eat World is now the rock establishment, the mainstream. They went from relatively unknown angsty outcasts, to radio gods by paying the dues of a long career. This must leave fans, and perhaps even the band, scratching heads thinking, "Well, now what?"

Now what indeed? The group sticks with what works for the most part, but there's an undeniable gloss and finish on Futures that was only hinted at on past records. They sound like a platinum band - confident, and polished, if at times pandering. The gooey mawkish pop songs sparkle and shimmer, dripping with melody. They are infectious, deep reflective movie sound track moments, especially the epic "23" - a screen-kiss soundtrack song if there ever was one. The rock songs like "Just Tonight" and "Pain" rip and shred with a set of balls that the group had previously been tentative about locating. The album is full of accessible and inviting songs, fit for radio rotation.

Those that cringe at those pop friendly moments probably never liked Jimmy Eat World too much to begin with. The group has always been accessible, and that's never been a problem. What Futures showcases is a side that band has never quite shown before: blandness. The main problem with this album is consistency - there's too damn much of it. Every song is decent, but no single offering truly stands out. The first single is the taut and dramatic "Work". However, almost any other song is as good a choice, and would be just as effective and interchangeable.

On this album, there are too few highs and lows, with no presence of the inspired cuts that littered the group's past albums (be they radio ready pop songs or not). Futures is the sound of a band playing it safe - ironic, because it's a course of action the group has never resorted to taking before. If Clarity was a statement of rebellion against the mainstream, Futures is the sound of a band embracing it.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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